University of Edinburgh

Establishing and Developing Communication with young people who are multiply disabled and VI or who are multisensory impaired

Thursday 25 May 2006

The interpretation of the competent partner is based on:

  • willingness and desire to understand and to be understood
  • empathy
  • communicative competence
  • dramatic ability
  • creativity
  • ability to talk about very little
  • attention to 'open windows'

How partners qualify their proposals of interpretation:

by observing the focus of interest of the deafblind person in 'here and now' situations;

  • by obtaining detailed information about interesting events;
  • by creating many routines and rituals;
  • by obtaining information about dramatic events;
  • by obtaining knowledge about important people to the deafblind person;
  • by knowing the different environments of the deafblind person.

Communication is used:

  • to obtain your needs 'I want this or that'
  • to share the actual event by commenting or naming what is in the mind of the deafblind person;
  • to inform about what is going to happen and what has happened;
  • to share a narrative in a conversation;
  • imperative and declarative functions.

The structure of a narrative:

Up - climax - a plot tension - Down

A break in what is expected is the motor of the narrative.

Narrative attitude:

Capacity to transform a plain action in the world into an emotional experience.

If nothing exciting happens in your life - then you have nothing to share in a conversation!

Planning of activities:

  • What is important for each individual? (BETs - bodily emotional traces)
  • What do I like to do?
  • What kind of an activity - plan?
  • How do I store the experience of my deafblind partner?
  • How can I tell other partners about the event?
  • How will it later be possible to expand on the event?
  • What kind of activities have common essential features?